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  • Writer's pictureJeff Johnston

Random Thoughts….From an ADD Mind

This week I am deviating from my traditional blogs which have been more “theme” oriented or on a specific topic. I wanted to provide you an opportunity to navigate through my ADD mind, so fair warning I will jump around alot. My primary objective for the next stage of my life is to increase my personal well-being. It’s about that simple, to be honest. What good am I to anyone else if I don’t take care of myself first. I am shocked at the large numbers of people hurting and in pain these days. I am certain that for us to elevate to a higher level of sustainable happiness we need to develop more efficient and effective habits for personal growth and enlightenment.

My health is very good for turning 55 next month. I have never smoked (I don’t count an occasional cigar). I don’t drink anymore and I don’t take any meds. I don’t eat red meat along with a decision to avoid dairy products as well. I mostly have a diet of fish, turkey, fruits and vegetables. I have no name for this strategy as I detest the concept of “dieting.” Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Durken, Low-carb, The HCG, The Zone, blah, blah, blah. Everyone has a quick fix. I can tell you the single largest contributor to my health was to stop drinking alcohol. I dropped 35 lbs along with that a lot of other bad habits that had held me back from being healthier. I weigh the same as I did my senior year in high school, even after shrinking a few inches as we do when we get older! Invest in your health first before anything else. What good is all the money in the world if you can’t enjoy it? Oh, I run on my elliptical for an hour every other day and I don’t lift weights.

I am “born again”. Hold on now, not the way you may imagine. Religion, God, and faith (the religious concept) have never really clicked with me. I grew up with awesome parents that always told my three brothers and me, “don’t steal, lie or cheat!” Enough said. I can’t say I always listened; yet those simple tenet’s have guided me well throughout my life. I did get caught shoplifting in 5th grade at the TG&Y store in Sycamore Mall in Iowa City along with shooting out our neighbors windows with a pellet gun in 3rd grade but who’s counting?

Anyway, I digress there slightly but the idea of a “celestial judge and jury” never excited me or at a minimum scared me enough to profess a belief. I don’t believe in the human constructed concept of Heaven or Hell. If there is an afterlife why would it have to do anything with a God(s)? I never understood why a secular person couldn’t lead a healthy, honest and inspired life and “do good” without assistance or motivation from above. As Albert Einstein said, “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” Born again to me implies reinventing yourself, breaking down preconceived notions and a continued thirst for learning. We never stay the same, we either grow or die. From this vantage point, I am born again. Oh, the majority of my closest inner circle are religious and I love the connection we have, God bless them all!

I had a heavy metal band in high school named “Skeletal Warrior.” I made an album cover and had about a dozen songs I wrote along with the planned “Skeletal Warrior Give ‘em Hell Tour 1983.” I know, I don’t believe in Hell but the idea to use it in marketing sounded genius! It worked for Twisted Sister. I had envisioned a European tour first then back to the United States, possibly South America as well. The problem was I had no musicians. Squirrel???

I went to a junior college out of high school and played two sports. Basketball and golf. I wanted to be a basketball coach and then switched to accounting after junior college. Don’t ask me why as I have no idea. Those who know me are just as perplexed as I am. I hate math, oh, and spelling. I ended up with a Finance degree yet had enough credits for a Psych Minor. To this day I use my psych studies substantially more than my Finance major. I had one D in college and never made an honor roll in high school or college. My college GPA was 3.18 and I worked my ass off to get that. I came to realize I had limited “memorization” skills as having ADD was a struggle but I knew after college no one was going to outwork me in whatever endeavors I embarked on. You can’t “test” heart and determination.

I derive zero pleasure in discussing politics at all. This year was the first year I have ever voted outside my lifelong party. I don’t enjoy politics and I have very little interest in them. It seems there are plenty of people that do and I am very happy for them, just stay off my lawn.

I have never been depressed. I have had very, very, dark, and intensely bad moments and have always found ways to put them in a box quickly and move on. Depressive moments not depression. Is there a difference? Who cares as it’s how I deal with my life. This must be some skill I was born with or with ADD I tend not to dwell very long on things. I read a post on social media where someone commented that their child “suffered from ADD.” When we will stop victimizing everyone and everything that makes us human. Might as well tattoo “I am cursed” on their forehead. Oddly enough I look forward to my “depressive moments'' as much as I do my happy moments. I think it’s the fact that I believe in order to achieve true peace in my life I must get as far away from peace as I can. You may need to reread that sentence a few times but it does make sense, to me at least.

I am for the legalization of marijuana. Prohibition did not work and the “war on drugs'' has been a colossal failure at every level. I will just remind everyone that just because it's legal doesn't mean you have to smoke it. Personally, it's a no-brainer to legalize and this is coming from someone who lost a child to addiction and drugs.

No one made my son, Seth smoke it either, it was his choice. It's all about choices. It's just when the pot "high" wasn't enough he chose heroin and the dealer that sold it to him made a choice not to test it for fentanyl. Choices. It's always about the choices. Make the right ones for you. It’s why my non-profit is called The Choices Network, Ltd, an easy choice I may say.

I wrote this in 25 minutes. That’s the beauty of ADD. I am so lucky to be born with this affliction. Remember, stigma’s suck, so do labels. You are under no obligation to let anyone define you, in any way. You control the narrative of your life, no one else.

Live Undeterred.

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